One of the reasons that I had, until recently, never been to Farm Neck Café, in Oak Bluffs, is that I thought it was private.
I imagined walking in there, no khaki shorts or sweater vest, sans a golf cart waiting out front, and be pegged as an intruder immediately. Turns out, I was wrong. Farm Neck Golf Club is semi-private, but the restaurant is open to the public, including those with no golf gear.
The first thing I noticed about Farm Neck was the ample parking: a rarity in Oak Bluffs, especially in the summer. The lot is just off County Road on 1 Farm Neck Way, and there are more than enough spots for golfers, tennis players, and diners alike. Inside, the parking lot slips from view and the Café overlooks the rolling green course where diners can watch the beige-hooded carts zip about.
The café is deceivingly large, with the main dining room, which holds a large bar in the center, branching off into several smaller rooms. One such room has a brick floor, antique-looking tables, skylights, and plants everywhere, giving the feeling of eating outside but the comfort of an enclosed patio.
Because Farm Neck tends to be busy with weddings in June, they don’t start regular dinner service until July. They do serve breakfast and lunch from 8 am to 6 pm on weekdays and 7 am to 6 pm Friday through Sunday.
For a light breakfast, check out the fresh-cut fruit salad, chilled melon, or breakfast parfait with vanilla yogurt, seasonal fruits, and toasted oats ($5.95). For something a little heartier, they also offer assorted cold cereals with sliced fresh fruit, homemade granola, and hot oatmeal served with raisins and brown sugar. If you need a carbohydrate push in the morning, they have freshly baked plain, sesame, everything, or cinnamon raisin bagels and English muffins with spreads to choose from such as chive cream cheese, strawberry cream cheese, and bacon-scallion cream cheese. As well as a bagel with smoked Atlantic salmon, capers, and cream cheese ($7.75) and a veggie bagel with peppers, red onion, portabella mushroom, lettuce, tomato, and melted Swiss ($5.95). There is a full range of juice, tea, coffee, and espresso to go with your breakfast.
On Sundays, Farm Neck hosts a breakfast buffet from 9 am to 2 pm, which is $19.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids. In addition to the buffet, there is a limited a la carte menu available.
Lunch begins at 11 am with everything from starters, salads, wraps, and sandwiches to a full bar if you are so inclined (no alcohol till 12 noon, though!).
The appetizers are all things you’d hope to see in a sunny Island café at lunch time: New England clam chowder, crab cakes, Island baked and stuffed quahogs, golden fried mozzarella, and more ($5.95-$9.95). Salads go above and beyond simple mixed greens. The roasted turkey cobb comes with bleu cheese, bacon, avocado, hard-boiled egg, tomatoes, greens, and a honey herb vinaigrette and it comes in two sizes, $9.95 for small and $14.50 for large. Grilled sea scallops are served on a bed of mixed greens, artichoke hearts, roasted tomatoes, goat cheese, and roasted red pepper vinaigrette ($14.95).
Farm Neck burgers are served with your choice of sautéed onions, peppers, or mushroom, with potato salad, cole slaw, hand-cut fries, or tomato and mozzarella salad. In addition to your classic hamburger or cheeseburger they also offer a turkey burger served with cranberry mayo on a bulky roll; a garden burger with a side of hummus; grilled chicken breast with tomato, red onion, avocado and Monterey Jack cheese; a grilled hot dog that can be dressed up with red onion and Jack cheese, sauerkraut, mustard and bacon, or beef chili, red onion, and Jack. Burgers and hot dogs range from $5.95 to $11.50.
The large selection of sandwiches and wraps include a chicken Caesar wrap, buffalo chicken wrap, and roast beef and blue wrap with tender, thinly sliced roast beef, with lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, and blue cheese dressing. Sandwiches are served on your choice of whole wheat, white, sourdough, marble-rye, flatbread or Kaiser roll. Choose from simple sandwiches like roasted turkey, BLT, chicken salad, and a tuna melt. Or go for the gold with the Oyster Po’ Boy or the Cuban: roast pork, ham, Swiss, pickle and chipotle mayo pressed on a warm French roll. The tomato mozzarella sandwich was delicious on soft, still warm ciabatta, with juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, avocado, and field greens served with pesto. Sandwiches and wraps range from $8.95 to $14.95.
All summer long Farm Neck offers $5 appetizers Thursday through Sunday from 3 to 5:30 pm. For a taste of what’s in store for dinner, check out their theme dinner this Friday, June 22. For the past three weeks, the chefs at Farm Neck have been cooking authentic Italian, Mexican, and Brazilian dinners. Word is that these dinners were very successful and popular, so it’s likely they’ll be back next June. This week’s dinner is a Southern BBQ starting at 6 pm. Dishes will include all things Southern such as fried chicken, collard greens, black-eyed peas, catfish, hush puppies, pulled pork, biscuits and gravy, and more for $24.95.
The restaurant will continue weekly theme dinners on Tuesday nights through the summer.
Call the Farm Neck Cafe at 508-693-3560 for details or check them out on the web for more information at farmneck.net.